U.S. Permanent Representative Susan E. Rice today said the United States welcomes the Council’s decision to impose new sanctions on Eritrea.
In her explanation of vote by Ambassador Susan E. Rice after the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2023, Ms. Rice
said the world has sent a clear message to the Government of Eritrea that it must cease all illegal actions threatening international peace and stability in the Horn of Africa.
UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
“As we adopt this resolution, we should recall the events that led us to this decision. Exactly two years ago this month, the Council adopted Resolution 1907 in response to a disturbing pattern of behavior: Eritrea was not engaging constructively in resolving its border dispute with Djibouti, and, most alarmingly, it was providing political, financial and logistical support to armed groups seeking to undermine peace in Somalia.” -Ms. Rice
She noted that the Council imposed targeted sanctions on Eritrea to demonstrate that Eritrea’s actions were unacceptable and would have negative consequences.
“We have continually received evidence of Eritrean support for extremist groups in the region. Eritrea still has not resolved its border dispute with Djibouti.” -Ms. Rice
She stressed that the UN’s Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group has documented Eritrea’s support for terrorism, including an appalling, planned attack on the January 2011 African Union Summit in Addis Ababa.
“According to the monitoring group, Eritrea is financing all of these activities through illicit means, including threats and the extortion of a “diaspora tax” from people of Eritrean descent living overseas.” -Ms. Rice
She emphasized that in direct response, the Council has imposed tougher sanctions. The goal is to show Eritrea that it will pay an ever higher price for its actions. She said building on Resolution 1907, the resolution imposes new obligations on Eritrea, including to cease illicit practices to extort funds from its diaspora.
“We particularly welcome the Council’s expression of concern over the potential use of mining revenues to fund violations of Security Council resolutions.” -Ms. Rice
She stressed that the United States will work with Somalia, the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group, and the Somalia and Eritrea Sanctions Committee to develop voluntary guidelines for companies from the United States and other Member States.
“Such guidelines can provide useful advice, best practices and information to help companies protect themselves from inadvertently contributing to Eritrea’s violations. We intend to draw on this work in advising our own companies.” -Ms. Rice
She noted that resolution 2023 provides further opportunities for Eritrea to show its good faith, including through releasing information on the status of Djiboutian combatants missing in action since June 2008. She emphasized that Eritrea must cease all direct and indirect efforts to destabilize States, particularly through support for armed opposition and terrorist groups, and it should cooperate fully with the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group.
“The United States believes that the international community’s concerns can and should be resolved through political engagement and dialogue. But Eritrea must clearly and affirmatively prove-not through its words but through its actions-that it is ready to reemerge as a law-abiding state.” -Ms. Rice